Chapter 52: The Road Is Blocked
Shi Mu walked towards the area where the stone houses were located — only to discover that the intersection to enter the area was blocked by seven or eight disciples. These disciples were dressed in black clothes.
The boys and girls who had reached earlier were in a confrontation with them. The faint sounds of their dispute transmitted outwards.
“What? It’s important that we pass via this route. But we’ll each have to give you a Flaming Demon Token?” an extremely angry voice was heard.
Shi Mu’s eyebrows wrinkled as he heard this. However, he continued to walk towards the area. He soon reached the intersection and saw the situation.
“That’s right! It’s only fair that each of you guys hand over a Flaming Demon Token. We cleaned up these houses a few days ago. So we’ve helped you in a way. Therefore, it’s only warranted that you pay us in return.” This group of seven or eight disciples was comprised of seventeen or eighteen-year-old boys. However, their leader looked like a twenty-year-old. He carried a long double-edged sword; its white sheath was well-ornamented. He had spoken this with an expressionless face.
“You shouldn’t deceive us. We know the value of a Flaming Demon Token. Brother Zhou has told us about them. We won’t hand over a Flaming Black Token in return for some cleaning. And who asked you to clean the houses? We’ll go to the Law Enforcement Hall if you stop us, and we’ll fearlessly file a complaint. We’re aware that you can’t challenge us during our first year in the Sect,” stated a handsome youngster without any trace of fear. He was among the group of boys and girls who had been blocked by these older disciples. Shi Mu remained silent.
“You’ll go to the Law Enforcement Hall, and file a complaint? The people at the Law Enforcement Hall don’t have the time to deal with such a trivial matter. And we’re not challenging you. You were careless enough to bump into us at the time we were practicing our martial arts skills. That’s all. However, I can give you an opportunity to pass this intersection without paying a Flaming Demon Token. But you’ll have to withstand a punch of mine.” The youngster with the double-edged sword laughed heartily when he heard those words of retaliation.
“Just a single punch?!” that handsome youngster’s heartbeat sped-up as he heard this.
“Why; yes? Shall I assume that you wish to give it a try?” the youngster who carried the double-edged sword asked in a gloomy manner.
“Humph! We haven’t yet practised the austerities to attain our Qi. Therefore we’re not capable to challenge you head-on. But, I don’t believe that taking one punch is beyond my abilities. Therefore, I — Fang Tian Xu — will be much obliged to give it a try,” the handsome youngster thought for a while. He then replied as he clenched his teeth.
“I’ll cheer for you Brother Fang!”
“Brother, you don’t even need to punch him. Just use technique to unleash the force of the punch on him.”
The atmosphere started to liven-up as the boys and girls started to cheer for the handsome youngster.
Several new people joined the crowd. They made enquiries to understand the matter. Some even started to cheer for the handsome youngster since they considered his opposing party to be their adversary.
Shi Mu’s gaze swept over to the youngster with the double-edged sword. Shi Mu’s vision flickered as he saw the grey-coloured bandages on that youngster’s fists.
“Brother Shi Mu, do you think that this boy can take that expert’s punch?”
Approaching footsteps were heard behind Shi Mu. Then, a familiar voice was heard.
“Do you know this person?” Shi Mu asked as he turned around.
A couple of teenagers had stationed themselves behind him. They had been with him in the same room of the ship — the girl with long hair draped around her shoulders, and the boy with curly hair and a wide mouth.
“I am Bai Shi. This is my friend Xiao Ming. We and Fan Tian Xu hail from the same locality. But, he’s not our friend. We know that he practiced the Blood-Support Law when he was with his family. I believe that this is the reason why he has taken the initiative to stand against this disciple,” the teenager with the long hair stated.
“I don’t know anything about the Blood-Support Law… But the manner in which that guy is blocking our way indicates that he’s confident about his skills. And look at his hands… it’s obvious that he practices the art of boxing. It’s difficult to say whether Fan Tian Xu will be able to take his punch or not,” Shi Mu nodded his head as he slowly spoke.
“Elder Brother Shi Mu’s way of thinking is similar to his younger’s,” Bai Shi commented with a smile.
The youngster blocking the intersection conveniently inserted his double-edged sword into the ground.
There was a loud ‘puffing’ sound as the white sheath dug a few inches into the tiled-ground, and stood upright at the place.
The newly recruited youngsters were alarmed at the sight of this.
The opposite party was obviously strong.
Fang Tian Xu’s expression changed slightly. However, he took a deep breath and exercised his limbs. Suddenly, his face became dark-red; it seemed as if he had incited his blood. He then took a few steps forward.
“Oh! You’ve awakened your blood. That’s why you have so much confidence in yourself. No wonder you’ve dared to stand against me. But let’s see if your cheap trick proves to be of any use against sheer strength.” The opposing youngster was startled at first. But he then replied with a sneer. He advanced forward and positioned his hands to throw a punch.
Fang Tian Xu lowered his head and shouted. Suddenly, he crossed his blood-red arms in front of his body.
‘Snap’, ‘snap’. Two crisp sounds were heard.
The bandaged fist hit the cross-section of the defending arms.
Fang Tian Xu’s eyes rolled-back, and he was sent flying for a few meters. He uttered a groan as he fell heavily on the ground and lost his consciousness. His arms were bent into a grotesque shape and were drooped beside him. They had clearly been broken in several pieces.
The youngsters who had been cheering for Fang Tian Xu suddenly became silent; their bodies started to become cold.
“Who else plans to receive a punch from me?” the youth slowly withdrew his fist. He then asked in a calm manner.
The intersection was silent for a while.
“Well… if there’s nobody else… then bring out the Flaming Demon Tokens. Don’t waste any more of your Elder Brother’s time.”
“You new kids still think that you can take Elder Brother Qu’s punch? You need to wake up to reality”
“Brother Qu practices Jade Iron Fist. His punch can break an iron shield. Now, don’t waste our time.”
The other disciples standing behind that youngster were laughed heartily as these words were spoken.
“Can I face your punch while using a weapon?” a youngster among the new disciples asked after a while.
“Sure. But, I’ll replace my punch with my double-edged sword. Hehe…” the young man replied.
The new disciple’s face went red as heard this. He became silent.
“I’ll be obliged to receive Elder Brother’s punch.”
A crisp voice was heard. The petite figure of a new disciple stepped out of the crowd.
Shi Mu was astonished to see a thirteen-fourteen year old girl with pigtails. Her clothes were adorned with sparkling and silvery little bells.
“Don’t think that I’ll be lenient because you are a girl,” the youngster looked at the girl and said coldly.
“When did I ask you to be lenient with me?” the little girl seemed confused. Her bells jingled as she arrogantly walked over the young man.
There was an ominous glint in the eyes of the youngster as he said this. He then suddenly threw a punch toward the girl.
There was a loud ‘whooshing’ sound.
The young girl’s waist unexpectedly twisted, and the sound of a bell’s ‘ringing’ was heard. Her body floated in air and casually landed a few feet away. It seemed that she had managed to avoid the punch very easily.
The new disciples were dumbfounded when they saw this.
The youngster was baffled to see this. He withdrew his arm and asked, “Are you a blood warrior?”
“Yes… I have taken your punch, right?” the young girl nodded her head as she answered confidently.